Design

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Wieden + Kennedy wants us to give a fuck this Christmas

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I've never had a problem with profanity. I believe it was Stephen Fry who said “...

“It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."

...and I couldn't agree more. When it comes to advertising though, there's one word that still seems to hold an unimpeachable reputation, despite the fact the act it describes is the reason we're all here. I'm referring, of course, to “The F Word,” a word that is being transformed into a force of good this festive season, as Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam encourages people to purchase limited-edition artworks to raise money for the refugee crisis.

Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam is encouraging people to purchase limited-edition artworks based around “Giving a Fuck” to raise money for the refugee crisis

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By harnessing the power that this single four-letter word has to offend, excite and provoke, the agency has launched the incendiary and charitable “Give A Fuck” platform, which actively encourages people to take action and connects the creative community with social causes. To launch the initiative, W+K Amsterdam has partnered with over 60 artists from all over the world, asking each to create and donate artworks that represent or feature a fuck (even typing that word is oddly satisfying).

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The result is more than 100 one-off or limited-edition artworks from varying mediums, which are being sold in aid of the Proactiva Open Arms charity, who are currently acting as lifeguards at the frontline of the refugee crisis. Proactiva Open Arms is a charity based Barcelona, Spain, which is dedicated to saving lives at sea. Having moved their operations to Greece in early September to help refugees safely reach the Greek coast, the charity's teams currently cover 17 km of coastline in Lesbos and Chios by land and sea, and ensure approximately 20 boats per day land safely.

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The Give a Fuck Slideshow

For sale at the Lets Give a Fuck web portal, all of the artwork has been specifically created for this project, and includes oil paintings, sketches, photography, prints, sculptures and craft objects. The artists, who fully donated their efforts and artworks, come from all over the world and include renowned New York documentary filmmaker and street photographer Cheryl Dunn, Amsterdam-based cartoon boomer Troqman, London-based photographer Sophie Ebrard and Spanish illustrator Jorge Lawerta. It’s very heavy on the Pop Art vibe (if you’re into that sort of thing), but the full range includes a fair number of varied pieces, with everything from profane dice and an angry duck, to sexually suggestive sketches and a quirky doodle of Bill Murray amongst the many pieces available.

There are more than 100 one-off or limited-edition artworks from varying mediums, which are being sold in aid of the Proactiva Open Arms charity

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Blake Harrop, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam managing director, said: “As creative people, it’s easy to feel powerless in the face of human tragedy. We wanted to find a way to enable people in the creative community to have a positive impact on social causes, so we decided instead of the usual ad agency Christmas card we’d spend our energy on launching this platform instead. We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity and support the idea has received from artists around the world.”

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For anyone around the globe wanting to participate, the web shop will be open until December 23rd or until everything sold out, but act quickly, as stock is selling fast!

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Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and struggling musician from Kidderminster in the UK who would like to think he gives more of a fuck than the next person, but can't be sure.

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